Sunday, 31 May 2015

First visit

This week has been very mixed weather , even snow on Friday up on Yell and in the north mainland. On other days, showers some with hail, but also long periods of sun. The weather next week promises a heatwave for June, but we will have to see whether this extends to Shetland.

Lerwick has had its share of interesting ships, which should increase in number as the summer progresses. The Dim Riv has yet to make an appearance but this normally coincides with the tourist season.

News came out that the proposed wind farms for Yell and Unst may now not take place as the government is with drawing subsidies. This may also have an affect on the large wind farm - 103 turbines for the north mainland, and also whether funds are going to be in place for the interconnector. If the SNP had its way they would still go ahead, personally I think this would be a mistake as it would affect the tourist trade. Only a few people think that it would actually be a tourist attraction.

It would ruin the last wilderness in the UK if it did go ahead, wave power should be developed and it would be less intrusive.

The music scene is in full swing with plenty of places to go and see live music. The other night we just managed to get in St Columba Church to see the North Ness Boys. There was standing room only as the boys launched their new CD. Their first CD sold over 4,000 copies apparently the largest number from any one band in Shetland. The Shetland Showcase starts up at Islesburgh a week on Monday and we already have season tickets for all 12 concerts.

Diane's sister and Husband will be visiting us on Thursday for a short break and we have been lucky to manage to find three days of music. we hope for dry weather to be able to show them around a few of Shetland's many attractions.

Its been good to hear that Da Voar Redd Up has been a great success and that many beaches have been cleaned up. The waves have certainly brought a lot of rubbish onto our coastline this winter and this could be harmful to the wildlife.

This is a good time of year to visit Shetland as there are many Teas and Home bakes to go to. We helped out at Cunningsburgh last week when the RVS help a fund raising event. There are some tremendous bakers here who turn out hundreds of cakes each year- not that we eat all of them

Sunday, 24 May 2015


The sheep are back in the field next to our house and we always enjoy seeing them, this time a few lambs are also present. While not as pleasant as Shetland sheep the Suffolk sheep are more robust and therefore able to have lambs earlier than the local breed.

                                                                                           Shetland sheep

Over the last couple of weeks many little Shetland lambs have been born and form little groups jumping around on spring like feet. Most Shetland sheep have two lambs but occasionally they also adopt lambs that have been rejected by their mother.

Its a very busy time for the crofters who are up daybreak around 4.30 am  to ensure  there are no problems lambing, going to bed late just in case. This year we have seen a few lambs with orange plastic coats for protection from the weather not cars.

We have booked our trip back to Sheffield later in the year although we get discount it is very costly for people coming here on holiday, especially if its for a short break. Recently the Folk festival took place and many visitors arrived from France, Germany, Norway and Ireland to name a few.

The Intermediate Digital Photography course i am running for Shetland Adult Education is nearly coming to an end and has been very enjoyable with people coming from all over the mainland. Everyone seems very enthusiastic which is always good, we will have covered 6 subjects in depth with another 6 planned for later in the year. I really do get a lot of satisfaction in delivering these courses long may they continue.

                                                                            Other ships in Lerwick this week

Please let me know if you are interested in joining from September already i have had a lot of interest in both the beginners and intermediate classes

In recent days we have been to celebrate the VE anniversary in Scalloway taking in both the Concert and a service at the Shetland Bus memorial. After a recent visit by a German navel ship it has been the turn of the Royal Navy when on Thursday a minesweeper arrived in Lerwick for a 5 day stay

At the Royal Voluntary Service lunch club I arranged a visit from the students at the local high school to come and discuss WW2 experiences with the old folk, who had some really interesting stories to tell.

Despite some cool wet weather there have already been some great sunsets, the following taken from the top of Scousborough Hill where you ca get superb views over St Ninian's Isle

It is now not going dark until around 11 pm which is great news, but you need extra stamina at this time of year to keep going.

We are looking forward to a visit from  Diane's sister Wendy and husband David who will be coming to Shetland for the first time, hope they enjoy the visit and we have some good weather to take them round various sites in Shetland.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Shetland Bus Anniversary

This weekend has been very busy in Scalloway with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The focus has been on the Shetland bus and the close links with Norway. On Saturday the weekend started with the Shetland Bus film followed by the Grand Variety Concert in the Public Hall.

Taking part was the Lerwick Brass band, Scalloway rainbows and Recorder Group, Hazel Jamieson with some great poetry and the brilliant Maggie and Brian. Following the supper Rhea Isbister, Davy Cooper, Merron Bleakley, Claire White, Lisa Ward and finally a superb choir from Norway the Sund Blande Choir, this 4.25 hour concert was great value and was supported by any Norwegians that made the trip over.

On Sunday we only made the service at the Shetland bus memorial where around 60 people gathered for wreath laying by a number of locals and Norwegians, followed by singing from the choir again. Lots of Norwegian visitors gathered as well wearing flags.

Many Norwegians escaped to Shetland from Norway on fishing boats during WW2. Then some returned with agents and arms to supply the resistance movement. Many of the Shetland Bus folk lost their lives in the fight.

Most of the trips by fishing boats was undertaken in winter during the dark nights when German aircraft were less likely to be about, despite this 44 people died making these journies.

                                                    Dinapore house HQ for the Shetland Bus in Scalloway

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Interesting ships around Shetland

There has been some interesting ships in Shetland over the last week

                                                            Above a German navy vessel at Sandwick, present three days

                                                                                     Another Pipe laying ship this time in Lerwick

                                                             The largest pipe laying ship in the world, just off Mail in south mainland

                                          We do get some excellent looking ships in Lerwick the above a training ship from Norway

                                                                                 A 1950's Danish ship passing Mousa

                                                     Boats are used for roofing as well and can be seen in many places around Shetland

                                         One of my favourite ships next to the museum in Lerwick, undergoing restoration
Snow in Sandwick at the end of April it even snowed in the north mainland on the 1 May. After this the weather improved and we have had some excellent, sunny days.